Zuckerberg blocks Trump from Facebook until at least end of term

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Zuckerberg blocks Trump from Facebook until at least end of term

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to announce the end of Trump’s reign — on the platform anyway.

Yesterday’s rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. turned into a storm of the Capitol itself by Trump supporters following a speech in which the president said “we will never concede.”

In his post this morning, Zuckerberg noted that Trump had used his platform on Facebook extensively for campaigning, often delving into disinformation and conspiracy theories, especially since the November election. Following yesterday’s violence, Zuckerberg said that “the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”

The speech that preceded the mob’s charge on the congressional chambers yesterday saw Trump taking potshots and claiming that Big Tech companies “rigged an election.” Trump also identified the media as “the single biggest problem we have, as far as I’m concerned.” 

Ironically, Trump has often depended on Big Tech platforms like Facebook and, most notably, Twitter to circumvent media outlets, which are rife with what he would identify as censorship — but what is actually the basic journalistic process of fact-checking. Twitter yesterday took down several of Trump’s tweets as violence in Washington escalated and ultimately locked his account, but only for 12 hours. Despite that lock ending several hours ago, his timeline remains inactive.

Congress has called the CEOs of both Facebook and Twitter to appear before them with rapidly increasing frequency over the last year due to the outsized role that such platforms play in national debate. Democrats have accused the platforms of circulating misinformation, while Republicans say they censor Republicans.